The Shelby GT500 Super Snake Wide Body and Shelby Focus ST have debuted at the 2013 Detroit auto show, proving that although Carroll Shelby may have passed away, his name lives on in some of America’s most mental cars.
Shelby American, a division of Carroll Shelby International, unveiled the wide-body version of its 634kW supercharged Shelby GT500 Super Snake – up 140kW on the stock 494kW GT500 – which will happily destroy a set of 330mm-wide rear tyres, and a front-wheel-drive Ford Focus ST-based Shelby Focus ST pocket rocket.
Since Shelby’s death in May, president of Shelby American, John Luft has ensured the great man’s innovative and aggressive hot-rodder spirit lives on.
“His Cobra redefined the sports car genre and then Shelby turned what some called a ‘secretary’s car’, the Mustang, into the fire-breathing GT350. A few years later, Shelby practically invented the American ‘pocket rocket’ with the four-cylinder turbocharged, front-wheel-drive Shelby GLH,” said Luft.
“This year, we’re returning to our roots with a pair of game-changing cars that will rewrite the rules for American performance.”
With all the fun and excitement of the ‘normal’ Shelby Super Snake’s upgraded performance, the ‘Wide Body Street Edition’ gets the added benefit of significantly wider front and rear guards and 20-inch wheels.
Shelby American vice president of production Gary Davis said the optional wide body package wasn’t just a cosmetic change. “It now gives the Super Snake much more traction and makes it easy to exploit the Shelby’s potential right past the competition.”
US customers are also able to choose between a variety of racing stripe designs including Satin Black, Gloss White, Silver, Blue or Red.
Confirming comments made by the company’s vice president, Gary Patterson, in the weeks leading up to the show, which reiterated Carroll Shelby’s thoughts on the proliferation of small-capacity turbocharged performance engines throughout the automotive industry, the Shelby Focus ST, “a driver-focused masterpiece”, is all about performance on a budget.
The 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder Shelby Focus ST package is extensive, including new lower Ford Racing suspension, new wheels and tyres for improved traction, bigger Shelby-spec brakes, a Shelby/Borla exhaust, bonnet vents, hydro-carbon inserts front and rear, and a rear hydro-carbon spoiler.
Inside, the car gets a complete Shelby-branded custom interior with a Shelby shifter and unique Shelby badging. Three exterior graphics packages are also offered, ranging from ‘traditional’ Shelby stripes to Shelby chequered flag or competition graphics.
Shelby American says it’s developing an optional performance tune for under the hood, and expects this to significantly boost the Focus ST’s power figure. Fun.